Impact of a mobile application for heart rate assessment in simulated neonatal resuscitation: a randomised controlled cross-over study

Cavallin F, Binotti M, Ingrassia PL, Genoni G, Rizzollo S, Monzani A, Trevisanuto D
Rivista / Volume: 
ADC Fetal & Neonatal Edition - BMJ
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Background Clinical assessment of newborn heart rate (HR) at birth has been reported to be inaccurate. NeoTapAdvancedSupport (NeoTapAS) is a free-of-charge mobile application that showed good accuracy in HR estimation. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of NeoTapAS on timing of HR communication and resuscitation interventions.

Methods This was a randomised controlled cross-over (AB/BA) study evaluating HR assessment using auscultation plus NeoTapAS compared with auscultation plus mental computation in a high-fidelity simulated newborn resuscitation scenario. Twenty teams each including three paediatric residents were randomly assigned to AB or BA arms. The primary outcome was the timing of the first HR communication. Secondary outcomes included the timing of the following four HR communications and the timing of resuscitation interventions (positive pressure ventilation, chest compressions, intubation and administration of first dose of epinephrine).

Results NeoTapAS reduced the time to the first HR communication (mean difference −13 s, 95% CI −23 to −4; p=0.009), and the time of initiation of chest compressions (mean difference −68 s, 95% CI −116 to −18; p=0.01) and administration of epinephrine (mean difference −76 s, 95% CI −115 to −37; p=0.0004) compared with mental computation.

Conclusions In a neonatal resuscitation simulated scenario, NeoTapAS reduced the time to the first HR communication and the time of initiation of chest compressions and administration of epinephrine compared with mental computation. This app can be especially useful in settings with limited availability of monitoring equipment, but further studies in clinical scenarios are warranted.